Kirklees Council is entering into a partnership with Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, to encourage responsible dog ownership and introduce a non-destruct policy for healthy dogs picked up by the council’s dog warden team.
The main aim of this partnership is to raise awareness of dog welfare issues in the hope of reducing the number of strays and dog fouling incidents. The non-destruct policy was discussed and agreed at the Kirklees Cabinet meeting on 17th February.
Councillor Molly Walton, Cabinet Member for the Environment, explains: “Unfortunately seven per cent of strays collected by local dog wardens last year had to be destroyed, which distresses both dog wardens and kennel staff. Now that this non-destruct policy has been approved the fees that would normally have been spent on destroying strays can be redirected to local dog rescue charities when taking on council strays.”
Denise Gilgallon, Regional Campaigns Manager for Dogs Trust, comments: “Dogs Trust is very excited about this partnership and committed to making it work. Every dog deserves the chance of a healthy and happy life and by working with Kirklees Council we hope to find good, loving homes for more stray and abandoned dogs.”
Each year the Kirklees dog wardens collect on average 850 stray dogs, which are then taken to local kennels. By law, each dog has to be kept at the kennel for seven days. If during this time the dog is not claimed, or rehomed, the dog is then destroyed.
By working closely with Dogs Trust, Kirklees Council hopes to spread the word on responsible dog ownership across all audiences. It is also looking at extending its education programme amongst schools and community groups by introducing dog neutering and microchipping schemes, ‘Dog at Risk’ vouchers and free school workshops.